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  • Writer's pictureWayne Drury

Is Canada's CO2 Strategy Working?

Photo Credit: 123RF Is Justin Trudeau’s and the Liberal government's strategy to combat global warming working? Let’s discuss this, as it is the Facts that Matter. What is Their Strategy? We hear a lot about the carbon tax, and I remember Trudeau’s promise of planting 2 billion trees a few years ago. But does the government have a Climate Change Strategy? Google has regurgitated the following: “The Liberal government has been working on climate change strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address the impacts of climate change,” with the following components of the strategy:

  1. Carbon Pricing: The government has implemented this mitigation measure to encourage the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Carbon pricing, to work, must be coupled with complementary energy and environment actions such as

  2. Renewable Energy: The government has committed to increasing the share of renewable energy in Canada's electricity generation. This includes supporting the development of wind, solar, hydro, and other clean energy sources.

  3. Phasing Out Coal: Canada has committed to phasing out traditional coal-fired electricity generation by 2030 and investing in cleaner alternatives.

  4. Electric Vehicle (EV) Incentives: The government has introduced incentives to promote the adoption of electric vehicles, including rebates for electric vehicle purchases.

  5. Investments in Green Infrastructure: Funding has been allocated for green infrastructure projects to support sustainable development and reduce emissions.

  6. Adaptation and Resilience: In addition to mitigation efforts, Canada is working on strategies to adapt to the impacts of climate change. This includes measures to enhance infrastructure resilience and protect communities from the effects of extreme weather events.

  7. Improved transportation infrastructure. High-speed rail, improved bus service and support for alternate transportation methods.

The Individual Components

Carbon Pricing – the liberal government is wearing this. The challenge is that it affects everyone, no matter your income level, but as always, it hits the lower income first and the worst. If there were viable alternatives for the use of fossil fuels, as there is supposed to be, then each person could make a choice. But many of us have no alternatives that would allow us to choose. Carbon pricing has been implemented with little that can be seen as providing the alternatives a comprehensive climate change strategy is supposed to provide. All that it has done is made us all poorer, and at the tipping point, we will choose to “heat and eat” rather than care for the environment.

Renewable Energy: This includes wind, solar, hydro, and other clean energy sources. There are, however, considerable competing challenges such as land use conversion and loss of diversity, impact on species at risk, and electrical storage. A substantial investment is also required for new infrastructure, estimated to be $1.2 Trillion, to take us to Net Zero by 2050. That is an average of $44.4 billion annually, $4.3 billion more than the 2023 projected federal government deficit. With our interest on the debt now standing at approximately $115 billion per year, how can we afford all of this?

I know some will say, “How can we not?” That brings me to my point, not an answer that we had better figure this out before we go over the cliff one way or the other.

Phasing out Coal: In 2010, coal produced 7% of Canada’s electrical energy. Today, 9.5% of Canada’s electrical energy comes from coal. It appears we are heading in the wrong direction.

Electric Vehicle Incentives: Is the shine coming off EVs? Many articles outline significant challenges that most did not think about, and we now see companies laying off production shifts and slashing prices.

A problem with EV incentives is that everyone pays through taxes, but only the “rich” who can afford one of those expensive beasts get the benefit. We often hear about the rich getting richer, and this is an excellent example of how money is taken from the lower-income folks and transferred to the higher-income folks who can afford an EV. Where is the fairness in all of that?

Adaptation and Resilience: I have not seen anything that benefits me. Have you?

Improved transportation Infrastructure: A transportation infrastructure is underway in my city. I have to give the government the credit for that, but it will take a long time to change the mindset that one can get by without a car. A “simple thing” is how one lugs their purchases from Costco home on the bus.

The End

The Facts, so let’s return to the original question. Is Justin Trudeau’s and the Liberal government's strategy to combat global warming working?

I will let each of you decide for yourself. Everyone’s situation is different, but the shine has come off if one believes the polls. All I can suggest is, “Let’s hope we can get this right,” as our time is short.

Best wishes ...

Vancouver, BC, Canada

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